RELG203

This course introduces students to the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’ān—some of the foundational texts of both western and world culture, and the sacred scriptural basis for religious traditions originating in the Near East: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and, more broadly, the social processes, textual practices, performance modes, and ideological constructs that, in various modes of synergy, constitute the phenomenon of  ‘scripture’ in religious traditions. Through close, critical readings and discussions of primary literature (in English translation), this course considers each set of texts in terms of: its contents; confessional and historical-critical theories of its contexts, composition, and canonization; relationship to the other sacred texts; and reception in later religious traditions.  The culminating part of the course explores cultural issues surrounding the generation and promulgation of competing character profiles within the scriptures and interpretive traditions of these kindred religions; characters of prominent interest include: Adam, Eve/Hawwāʾ, Satan/Iblīs, Noah, Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, Moses, Jonah, Job, Jesus, and Mary. There are no prerequisites for this course.

TEXTBOOKS

New Oxford Annotated Bible (OAB) – New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) with Apocrypha, Fully Revised 4th Edition. With Michael David Coogan; Marc Zvi Brettler; Carol A Newsom; Pheme Perkins. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. (ISBN-13: 9780195289602)

The Qur’an (Oxford World’s Classics). Muhammad A. S. Abdel Haleem, translator. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. (ISBN-13: 9780199535958)

Michael Coogan. The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. (ISBN-13: 9780195305050)

Luke Timothy Johnson. The New Testament: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. (ISBN-13: 9780199735709)

Michael Cook. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. (ISBN-13: 9780192853448)